HEAD racquet rebels dominated in Asia, with Mikhail Youzhny wielding his YouTek Extreme Pro ruthlessly in a fighting 6-7, 6-2, 7-6 defeat of Andrey Golubev of Kazakhstan to win the Malaysian Open. North, in Bangkok/Thailand, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez followed up his semi-final knockout of world No. 1 Rafael Nadal with a title victory over Finn Jarkko Nieminen 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.
Garcia-Lopez, playing his his YouTek Prestige MP, rallied to win the trophy at the Impact arena in just under two hours. "This has been a unbelievable week, I can't express what I feel inside," said the Spanish winner, his 53rd ranking set for improvement. "After I beat Nadal I knew this one would also be tough. It was a 50-50 match. I did my best in the last set." Garcia-Lopez improved to 2-1 in finals, winning his first in Kitzbuehel in 2009.
Garcia-Lopez also showed superb fitness after his marathon win the day before against Nadal, so far the biggest win of a career for the HEAD player. "The difference was just a few points for me," he said of the Niemimen match. "It was a tough match and one that I‘m really glad to win."
Youzhny followed up his US Open semi-final a month ago against Nadal with his second title of the season and seventh overall. The Russian No. 9 will improve in the race for a spot in the eight-man November season-ending event in London. "I can't say I showed my best tennis here, but, although it’s good when you win the tournament," said the winner, taken to three sets in every match he played in Kuala Lumpur. “That have been four very tough matches for me. It was my first tournament indoors after the US Open Series and for me it was good.”
Belarusian HEAD racquet rebel Victoria Azarenka claimed a semi final spot at the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo. The 21-year old did not lose a single set until the semi final match where she was finally defeated by top eventual winner Caroline Woziniacki in three sets.